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VISIONS 

OF 

THE SPIRITUAL WORLD 

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SPIRITUAL 




&0& 


LIFE, ITS DIFFERENT STATES OF EXIST- 




ENCE, AND THE DESTINY OF GOOD AND 




a — • 


EVIL MEN AS SEEN IN VISIONS 




MACMIUAN AND CO., Limited 






LONDON ■ POMBAV - CALCUTTA ■ MADRAS 






MELBOURNE 


BY 




THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 


SADHU SUNDAR SINGH 




NKW YORK ■ BOSTON * CHICAGO 






DALLAS • SAN FRANCISCO 






THE MACMILLAN CO, OF CANADA, Ltd. 






TORONTO 


MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED 

ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON 

1926 






FOREWORD 

I feel it a very great privilege to be allowed 
to accede to the request of my friend, Sadhu 




COPYRIGHT 


Sundar Singh, that I would write a brief 
foreword to his book " Visions ", because I 
hope and believe that the little book will 
help many souls in their struggle to find 
Reality, I wish that all who read the book 
could have the privilege, that we in this 
Diocese and a number of people in London 
also have, of knowing the Sadhu personally. 
The message of the book gets an added force 
from the impression of a sweet sanity and 






simplicity that is left in one's mind after a 




talk with the Sadhu. 




PRINTS IN GREAT RTUTA1N 
. & K. CLARK, LIMITED, EDINBURGH 


Inevitably, I think, some who read the 


BY 


book will feel impelled to ask the question: 






V 






VISIONS 

" What is the exact nature of these spiritual 
experiences? What, for instance, was the 
part played in them by the sub-conscious 
mind? Had what was seen in the ' Visions ' 
an objective reality? " 

I have not the philosophical knowledge 
that would enable me to give an answer to 
these questions: and I am by no means 
sure that, if I had it, I should feel that there 
would be any profit in using it in this case. 
S, Paul was content to leave his deepest 
spiritual experiences without full explanation. 
" Whether in the body or out of the body I 
cannot tell: God knoweth." The simplest 
view to my mind seems the truest. I read 
the book in Manuscript one Sunday after- 
noon in Simla this summer, and as I tried 
afterwards to analyse my impression, I felt 
it was this. I felt that for me the veil, 
which normally shrouds the real world, had 
been for a few moments lifted and that I 
had been allowed, through the help of 



VISIONS 

was, as it were, the sponsor of S. Mark's 
Gospel) as a coming of the Kingdom with 
power. It consisted in the lifting of the 
veil which shrouds the unseen world, so 
that the denizens of that world were visible 
and audible to human eyes and ears, and in 
the glory of the real Jesus shining through 
the veil of flesh. 

May it not be that this kind of experience 
is still given sometimes to God's servants? 
I personally believe that the Sadhu's experi- 
ences recounted in these " Visions " were 
something of this kind: that for him, as for 
these other servants of God, the veil which 
shrouds the real was lifted, so that he saw 
our Lord as He really is, and that world. 

Messages that come as the result of such 
experiences must be reverenced, but they 
must also be tested by reference to the 
revelation of God in Jesus Christ. I have 
tried my best to apply this " test " to these 
messages, and I find them in accord with 



FOREWORD 

Christ's faithful servant, to see things as they 
really are. I do not know, but I am inclined 
to think that my friend the Sadhu would 
himself prefer that the " visions " should be 
" explained " in this completely simple way. 
As I let my mind dwell on what I had read 
in the little book, a passage of Scripture came 
up over the margin of consciousness into my 
conscious mind, as recounting what was in 
some sense a parallel experience. 

In all the conflicting opinions about the 
coming of the Kingdom of God, we have our 
Blessed Lord's own authority for its having 
come in one particular way. " There be 
some here that shall not taste of death till 
they have seen the Kingdom of God come 
with power." In both S. Mark's and 
S. Matthew's Gospels these words are so 
closely linked on to the story of the Trans- 
figuration that I cannot doubt that they 
interpreted this memorable event in the life 
of the three chosen Disciples (one of whom 



FOREWORD 

that supreme revelation of God's character 
which we have in our Lord's life and teach- 
ing. I therefore gratefully accept them as 
one more proof that God is still speaking to 
His people, and I pray that this little book 
may open the eyes of many to " the real 
world" that is all round us, to which we 
are too often blind, for " closer is He than 
breathing, and nearer than hands and feet ". 

H. B. LAHORE. 

Simla, 
6th August 1936. 



PREFACE 

In this book I have attempted to write about 
some of the visions which God has given me. 
Had I considered my own inclinations, I 
would not have published the account of 
these visions during my lifetime; but friends, 
whose judgment I value, have been insistent 
that, as a spiritual help to others, the publica- 
tion of the teaching of these visions should 
not be delayed. In deference to the wish 
of these friends this book is now presented 
to the public. 

At Kotgarh, fourteen years ago, while I 
was praying, my eyes were opened to the 
Heavenly Vision. So vividly did I see it all 
that I thought I must have died, and that my 
soul had passed into the glory of heaven; 
but throughout the intervening years these 
xi 



VISIONS 

visions have continued to enrich my life. I 
cannot call them up at will, but, usually 
when I am praying or meditating, sometimes 
as often as eight or ten times in a month, my 
spiritual eyes are opened to see within the 
heavens, and, for an hour or two, I walk in 
the glory of the heavenly sphere with Christ 
Jesus, and hold converse with angels and 
spirits. Their answers to my questions have 
provided much of the material that has 
already been published in my books, and the 
unutterable ecstasy of that spiritual com- 
munion makes me long for the time when I 
shall enter in permanently to the bliss and 
fellowship of the redeemed. 

Some may consider that these visions are 
merely a form of spiritualism, but I would 
emphasise that there is one very essential 
difference. Spiritualism does presume to 
produce messages and signs from spirits out 
of the dark, but they are usually so frag- 
mentary and unintelligible, if not actually 



PREFACE 

deceptive, that they lead their followers away 
from, rather than to, the truth. In these 
visions, on the other hand, I see vividly and 
clearly every detail of the glory of the 
spiritual world, and I have the uplifting 
experience of very real fellowship with the 
saints, amid the inconceivably bright and 
beautiful surroundings of a spiritual world 
made visible. It is from these angels and 
saints that I have received, not vague, 
broken and elusive messages from the un- 
seen, but clear and rational elucidations of 
many of the problems that have troubled me. 
This " Communion of the Saints " was a 
fact so real in the experience of the early 
Church, that it is given a place among the 
necessary articles of their faith, as stated in 
the "Apostles' Creed". Once, in a vision, 
I asked the saints for a proof from the Bible 
of this communion of saints, and was told 
that it was to be found clearly given in 
Zechariah iii. 7-8, where " those that were 
xiii 



VISIONS 




PREFACE 


standing by " were not angels, nor " men " 




serve one another in love, and, in the efful- 


of flesh and blood, but saints in glory; and 




gence of God's glory, are eternally happy. 


God's promise, on condition of Joshua ful- 




The World of Spirits means that intermediate 


filling His command, is that he will be 




state into which spirits enter after leaving the 


given " a place of access to walk among 




body. By the Spiritual World is meant all 


them (saints) that stand by ", and these are 




spiritual beings that progress through the 


his " fellows " — the spirits of men made 




stages between the darkness of the bottomless 


perfect with whom he could commune. 




pit and the throne of the Lord in light. 


There is repeated mention of Spirits, 






Saints and Angels in this book. The dis- 




I wish to express my sincere thanks to 


tinction I would make between them is that 




the Rev. T. E. Riddle of the New Zealand 


Spirits are both good and bad, who after 




Presbyterian Mission, Kharar, Punjab, who 


death exist in a state intermediate between 




has journeyed up to Subathu to translate 


heaven and hell. Saints are those who have 




this book from Urdu into English. My 


passed on through this stage into the higher 




thanks are again due to Miss E. Sanders, 


sphere of the spiritual world, and have had 




of Coventry, for having corrected the proofs 


special service allotted to them. Angels are 




of this book. 


those glorious beings to whom all kinds of 




SUNDAR SINGH. 


superior service has been allotted, and among 






them are included many saints from other 




Subathu, 


worlds, as well as from this world of ours, 




July 1926. 


who all live together as one family. They 
xiv 




xv 


CONTENTS 






Foreword ....... 


PAGl 


t 

r 




X 


i 


CHAPTER I 






Life and Death ...... 




t 


CHAPTER II 






What Happens at Death: .... 


* 


{■ 


CHAPTER III 






The World of Spirits ..... 


i 


3 


CHAPTER IV 






Man's Help and Teaching. Now and aftek 






Death ....... 


2 





xvii 







VISIONS 

CHAPTER V 
Tke Judgment of Sinners 

CHAPTER VI 

Tiik State of the Righteous and their Glorious 



End 



FACE 

27 



+4 



CHAPTER VII 

The Aim and Purpose of Creation . , 58 



VISIONS 

one form of existence into another is called 
Death, this never means that death finally 
ends life, or even that it adds to the life, or 
takes away anything from it. It merely 
transfers the life from one form of existence 
to another. A thing that disappears from 
our sight has not thereby ceased to exist. 
It reappears, but in another form and state. 



Man can never be destroyed 

Nothing in this whole universe was ever 
destroyed, nor can it ever be, because the 
Creator has never created anything for 
destruction. If He had wished to destroy it, 
He would never have created it. And if 
nothing in creation can be destroyed, then 
how can man be destroyed, who is the crown 
of creation, and the image of his Creator? 
Can God Himself destroy His own image, 
or can any other creature do it? Never! 
If man is not destroyed at death, then at once 
the question rises, where will man exist after 
death, and in what state? 
2 




I 









CHAPTER I 



LIFE AND DEATH 



Life 

There is only one source of Life — an 
Infinite and Almighty Life, Whose creative 
power gave life to all living things. All 
creatures live in Him, and in Him will they 
remain for ever. Again, this Life created 
innumerable other lives, different in kind, 
and in the stages of their progress man is 
one of these, created in God's own image 
that he might ever remain happy in His 
holy presence. 

Death 

This life may change but it can never 
be destroyed, and though the change from 

I B 



LIFE AND DEATH 

I shall attempt to give a brief explanation 
from my own visional experiences, though 
it is not possible for me to describe all the 
things which I have seen in visions of the 
spiritual world, because the language and 
illustrations of this world are inadequate to 
express these spiritual realities; and the very 
attempt to reduce to ordinary language the 
glory of the things seen is likely to result 
in misunderstanding. I have, therefore, 
had to eliminate the account of all those 
subtle spiritual occurrences, for which only 
a spiritual language is adequate, and to take 
up only a few simple and instructive incidents 
that will prove profitable to all. And since 
at some time or other every one will have to 
enter into this unseen spiritual world it will 
not be without profit if we, to some extent, 
become familiar with it. 



CHAPTER II 

WHAT HAPPENS AT DEATH? 

One day when I was praying alone, I 
suddenly found myself surrounded by a 
great concourse of spirit beings, or I might 
say that as soon as my spiritual eyes were 
opened I found myself bowed in the presence 
of a considerable company of saints and 
angels. At first I was somewhat abashed, 
when I saw their bright and glorious state 
and compared with them my own inferior 
quality. But I was at once put at ease by 
their real sympathy and love-inspired friendli- 
ness. I had already had the experience of 
the peace of the presence of God in my life, 
but the fellowship with these saints added a 
new and wonderful joy to me. As we con- 
4 



VISIONS 

by the many new and beautiful things that 
they see around them, they imagine that 
they are visiting some country or city of 
the physical world, which they have not seen 
before. It is only when they have been more 
fully instructed, and realise that their spiritual 
body is different from their former material 
body, that they allow that they have, in fact, 
been transferred from the material world to 
the realm of spirits." 

Another of the saints, who was present, 
gave this further answer to my question, 
" Usually", he said, "at the time of death 
the body gradually loses its power of feeling. 
It has no pain, but is simply overcome by a 
sense of drowsiness. Sometimes in cases of 
great weakness, or after accident, the spirit 
departs -while the body is still unconscious. 
Then the spirits of those who have lived 
without thought of, or preparation for, 
entering the spiritual world, being thus 
suddenly transferred into the world of 
spirits, are extremely bewildered and in a 
state of great distress at their fate, so, for a 
6 



WHAT HAPPENS AT DEATH? 

versed together I received from them answers 
to my questions relating to my difficulties 
about many problems that puzzled me. My 
first inquiry was about what happens at the 
time of dying and about the state of the soul 
after death. I said, " We know what 
happens to us between childhood and old 
age, but we know nothing of what happens 
at the time of death or beyond the gates of 
death. Correct information about it can be 
known only by those on the other side of 
death, after they have entered the spiritual 
world. Can you ", I asked, " give us any 
information about this? " 

To this one of the saints answered, " Death 
is like sleep. There is no pain in the passing 
over, except in the case of a few bodily 
diseases and mental conditions. As an 
exhausted man is overcome by deep sleep, so 
comes the sleep of death to man. Death 
comes so suddenly to many, that it is only 
with great difficulty that they realise that 
they have left the material world and 
entered this world of spirits. Bewildered 
5 



WHAT HAPPENS AT DEATH? 

considerable period, they have to remain in 
the lower and darker planes of the inter- 
mediate state. The spirits of these lower 
spheres often greatly harass people in the 
world. But the only ones that they can 
injure are those who are like in mind to 
themselves, who of their own free will open 
their hearts to entertain them. These evil 
spirits, by allying themselves with other evil 
spirits, would do immense harm in the world 
were it not that God has appointed innumer- 
able angels everywhere for the protection of 
His people and of His creation, so that His 
people are always safe in His keeping. 

" Evil spirits can injure only those in the 
world who are like in nature to themselves, 
and then they can do it only to a limited 
extent. They can, indeed, trouble the 
righteous, but not without God's permission. 
God sometimes does give to Satan and his 
angels permission to tempt and persecute 
His people, that they may emerge from the 
trial stronger and better, as when He allowed 
Satan to persecute His servant Job. But 
7 



VISIONS 

from such a trial there is gain rather than 
loss to the believer." 

Another of the saints standing by added 
in reply to my question, " Many whose 
lives have not been yielded to God, when 
about to die, seem to become unconscious ; 
but what actually happens is that when they 
see the hideous and devilish faces of the evil 
spirits that have come about them, they 
become speechless and paralysed by fear. 
On the other hand the dying of a believer 
is frequently the very opposite of this. He 
is often extremely happy, for he sees angels 
and saintly spirits coming to welcome him. 
Then, too, his loved ones, who have died 
before, are permitted to attend his death-bed, 
and to conduct his soul to the spiritual world. 
On entering the world of spirits he at once 
feels at home, for not only are his friends 
about him, but, while in the world he 
had long been preparing himself for that 
Home by his trust in God and fellowship 
with Him." 

After that a fourth saint said, " To conduct 



CHAPTER III 

THE WORLD OF SPIRITS 

Once in the course of a conversation the 
saints gave me this information : " After 
death the soul of every human being will 
enter the world of spirits, and every one, 
according to the stage of his spiritual growth, 
will dwell with spirits like in mind and in 
nature to himself, either in the darkness or in 
the light of glory. We are assured that no 
one in the physical body has entered into the 
spiritual world, except Christ and a few 
saints, whose bodies were transformed into 
glorious bodies ; yet to some it has been 
granted, that, while still dwelling in the 
world, they can see the world of spirits, and 
heaven itself, as in 1 Cor. xii. 2, though they 
10 









WHAT HAPPENS AT DEATH? 

the souls of men from the world is the work 
of angels. Usually the Christ reveals Him- 
self in the spiritual world to each one in 
degrees of glory differing in intensity accord- 
ing to the state of each soul's spiritual 
development. But in some cases He Him- 
self comes to a death-bed to welcome His 
servant, and in love dries his tears, and leads 
him into Paradise. As a child born into the 
world finds everything provided for its 
wants, so does the soul, on entering the 
spiritual world, find all its wants supplied." 



THE WORLD OF SPIRITS 

themselves cannot tell whether they enter 
Paradise in the body or in the spirit." 

After this conversation these saints con- 
ducted me round and showed me many 
wonderful things and places. 

I saw that from all sides thousands upon 
thousands of souls were constantly arriving 
in the world of spirits, and that all were 
attended by angels. The souls of the good 
had with them only angels and good spirits, 
who had conducted them from their death- 
beds. Evil spirits were not allowed to come 
near to them, but stood far off and watched. 
I saw also that there were no good spirits 
with the souls of the really wicked, but about 
them were evil spirits, who had come with 
them from their death-beds, while angels too 
stood by and prevented the evil spirits from 
giving free play to the spite of their malicious 
natures in harassing them. The evil spirits 
almost immediately led these souls away 
towards the darkness; for when in the flesh 
they had consistently allowed evil spirits to 
influence them for evil, and had willingly 
ii 



VISIONS 

permitted themselves to be enticed to all 
kinds of wickedness. For the angels in no 
way interfere with the free will of any soul. 
I saw there, also, many souls who had lately 
come into the world of spirits, who were 
attended by both good and evil spirits, as 
well as by angels. But before long the 
radical difference of their lives began to 
assert itself, and they separated themselves — 
the good in character towards the good, and 
the evil towards the evil. 



Sons of Light 

When the souls of men arrive in the world 
of spirits the good at once separate from the 
evil. In the world all are mixed together, 
but it is not so in the spiritual world. I have 
many times seen that when the spirits of the 
good — the Sons of Light — enter into the 
world of spirits they first of all bathe in the 
impalpable air-like waters of a crystal clear 
ocean, and in this they find an intense 
and exhilarating refreshment. Within these 

12 

VISIONS 

constantly to arise. But heaven is so arranged 
that the smoke is not seen, nor are the wails 
of anguish heard, by the spirits in heaven, 
unless any of them for some special reason 
should wish to see the evil plight of those 
souls In darkness. 



Death of a Child 

A little child died of pneumonia, and a 
party of angels came to conduct his soul to 
the world of spirits. I wish that his mother 
could have seen that wonderful sight, then, 
instead of weeping, she would have sung with 
joy, for the angels take care of the little ones 
with a care and love that no mother ever 
could show. I heard one of the angels say 
to another, " See how this child's mother 
weeps over this short and temporary separa- 
tion 1 In a very few years she will be happy 
again with her child." Then the angels took 
the child's soul to that beautiful and light- 
filled part of heaven, which is set apart for 
children, where they care for them and teach 
14 



I 



THE WORLD OF SPIRITS 

miraculous waters they move about as if in 
open air, neither are they drowned beneath 
them, nor do the waters wet them, but, 
wonderfully cleansed and refreshed and fully 
purified, they enter into the world of glory 
and light, where they will ever remain in the 
presence of their dear Lord, and in the 
fellowship of innumerable saints and angels. 

Sons of Darkness 

How different from these are the souls of 
those whose lives have been evil. Ill at ease 
in the company of the Sons of Light, and 
tormented by the all-revealing light of Glory, 
they struggle to hide themselves in places 
where their impure and sin-stained natures 
will not be seen. From the lowest and 
darkest part of the world of spirits a black 
and evil-smelling smoke arises, and in their 
effort to hide themselves from the light, these 
Sons of Darkness rush down, and cast them- 
selves headlong into it, and from it their 
bitter wails of remorse and anguish are heard 
13 

THE WORLD OF SPIRITS 

them in all heavenly wisdom, until gradu- 
ally the little ones become like the angels. 

After some time this child's mother also 
died, and her child, who had now become 
like the angels, came with other angels to 
welcome the soul of his mother. When he 
said to her, " Mother, do you not know me? 
I am your son Theodore ", the mother's 
heart was flooded with joy, and when they 
embraced one another their tears of joy 
fell like flowers. It was a touching sight! 
Then as they walked along together he kept 
on pointing out, and explaining to her, the 
things around them, and during the time 
appointed for her stay in the intermediate 
state, he remained with her, and when the 
period necessary for instruction in that world 
was completed he took her with him to the 
higher sphere where he himself dwelt. 

There, on all sides, were wonderful and 
joyous surroundings, and unnumbered souls 
of men were there, who in the world had 
borne all kinds of suffering for the sake of 
Christ, and in the end had been raised to this 

15 



VISIONS 

glorious place of honour. All around were 
matchless and exceedingly beautiful moun- 
tains, springs, and landscapes, and in the 
gardens was abundance of all kinds of sweet 
fruits and beautiful flowers. Everything 
that heart could desire was there. Then he 
said to his mother, " In the world, which is 
the dim reflection of this real world, our dear 
ones are grieving over us, but, tell me, is 
this death, or the real life for which every 
heart yearns? " The mother said, " Son, 
this is the true life. If I had known in the 
world the whole truth about heaven, I 
would never have grieved over your death. 
What a pity it is those in the world are so 
blind! In spite of the fact that Christ has 
explained quite clearly about this state of 
glory, and that the Gospels again and again 
tell of this eternal kingdom of the Father, 
yet, not only ignorant people, but many 
enlightened believers as well, still remain 
altogether unaware of its glory. May God 
grant that all may enter into the abiding joy 
of this place! " 

16 



I 



I 



THE WORLD OF SPIRITS 

Death of a Philosopher 

The soul of a German philosopher entered 
into the world of spirits and saw from afar 
the incomparable glory of the spiritual world 
and the boundless happiness of its people. 
He was delighted with what he saw, but his 
stubborn intellectualism stood in the way of 
his entering into it and enjoying its happi- 
ness. Instead of admitting that it was real, 
he argued thus with himself, " There is no 
doubt at all that I see all this, but what proof 
is there that it has objective existence, and 
is not some illusion conjured up by my 
mind? From end to end of all this scene I 
will apply the tests of logic, philosophy and 
science, and then only will I be convinced 
that it has a reality of its own and is no 
illusion." Then the angels answered him, 
"It is evident from your speech that your 
intellectualism has warped your whole nature, 
for as spiritual and not bodily eyes are 
needed to see the spiritual world, so spiritual 
understanding is necessary to comprehend 
17 c 



VISIONS 

its reality, and not mental exercises in the 
fundamentals of logic and philosophy. Your 
science that deals with material facts has 
been left behind with your physical skull 
and brain in the world. Here, only that 
spiritual wisdom is of use which arises out 
of the fear and love of God." Then said one 
of the angels to another, " What a pity it is 
that people forget that precious word of our 
Lord, ' Except ye be converted, and become 
as little children, ye shall in no wise enter 
into the Kingdom of Heaven ' " (Matt, 
xviii. 3). I asked one of the angels what 
the end of this man would be, and he replied, 
" If this man's life had been altogether bad, 
then he would at once have joined the 
spirits of darkness, but he is not without a 
moral sense, so for a very long time he will 
wander blindly round in the dim light of the 
lower parts of the intermediate state, and 
keep on bumping his philosophical head, 
until, tired of his foolishness, he repents. 
Then he will be ready to receive the necessary 
instruction from the angels appointed for 
18 



THE WORLD OF SPIRITS 

that purpose, and, when instructed, will be 
fit to enter into the fuller light of God in the 
higher sphere." 

In one sense the whole of infinite space, 
filled as it is with the presence of God, Who 
is Spirit, is a spiritual world. In another 
sense the world also is a spiritual world, for 
its inhabitants are spirits clothed with human 
bodies. But there is yet another world of 
spirits, which is the temporary dwelling- 
place of spirits after they leave the body at 
death. This is an intermediate state — a 
state between the glory and light of the 
highest heavens, and the dimness and dark- 
ness of the lowest hells. In it are innumer- 
able planes of existence, and the soul is 
conducted to that plane for which its progress 
in the world has fitted it. There, angels 
specially appointed to this work instruct it 
for a time, that may be long or short, before 
it goes on to join the society of those spirits 
— good spirits in the greater light, or evil 
spirits in the greater darkness — that are like 
in nature and in mind to itself. 
19 



MAN'S HELP AND TEACHING 



CHAPTER IV 

man's help and teaching now and after 

Unseen Help 

Our relatives and dear ones, and at times 
the saints as well, often come from the un- 
seen world to help and protect us, but the 
angels always do. Yet they have never been 
allowed to make themselves visible to us, 
except at a few times of very special need. 
By ways unrecognised by us they influence 
us towards holy thoughts, and incline us 
towards God and towards good conduct, and 
God's Spirit, dwelling in our hearts, com- 
pletes that work for the perfecting of our 
spiritual life, which they have been unable 
to accomplish. 

20 



VISIONS 

chamber of their hearts they are helped by 
communion with the saints, who, unseen by 
them, are ever at hand to assist them towards 
the good. But, as many Christian believers, 
as well as non-Christian seekers after truth, 
die while still holding false and partial views 
of truth, their views are corrected in the 
world of spirits, provided that they are not 
obstinately welded to their opinions, and are 
willing to learn, because neither in this 
world, nor in the next, does God, or any 
servant of His, force a man to believe any- 
thing against his will. 

The Manifestation of Christ 

I saw in a vision the spirit of an idolater, 
on reaching the world of spirits, begin at 
once to search for his god. Then the saints 
said to him, " There is no god here save the 
One True God, and Christ, Who is His 
manifestation." At this the man was a 
good deal astonished, but being a sincere 
seeker after truth, he frankly admitted that 
11 



Who is the Greatest? 

The greatness of any one does not depend 
upon his knowledge and position, nor by 
these alone can any one be great. A man 
is as great as he can be useful to others, and 
the usefulness of his life to others depends 
on his service to them. Hence, in so far 
as a man can serve others in love, just so 
far is he great. As the Lord said, " But 
whosoever will be great among you let him 
be your servant " (Matt. xx. ■26). The joy 
of all those that dwell in heaven is found in 
this that they serve one another in love, and 
thus, fulfilling the object of their lives, they 
remain for ever in the presence of God. 

The Correction of Error 

When people earnestly desire to live lives 
pleasing to God, the readjustment of their 
views and the renewal of their lives begin 
in this world. Not only does the Spirit of 
God teach them directly, but in the secret 
21 



MAN'S HELP AND TEACHING 

he had been in error. He eagerly sought 

to know the correct view of truth, and asked 

if he might see the Christ. Shortly after 

this Christ manifested Himself in a dim 

light to him, and to others who had newly 

arrived in the world of spirits, because at this 

stage they could not have endured a full 

exhibition of His glory, for His glory is so 

surpassing that even the angels look on Him 

with difficulty, and cover their faces with 

their wings (Isaiah vi. 2). When He does 

reveal Himself to any one He takes into 

account the particular stage of progress to 

which that soul has attained, so He appears 

dimly, or in the fuller light of His glory, 

that the sight of Him may be endured. So, 

when these spirits saw Christ in this dim 

but attractive light, they were filled with a 

joy and peace which is beyond our power 

to describe. Bathed in the rays of His 

life-giving light, and with the waves of His 

love, which constantly flow out from Him, 

flowing over them, all their error was washed 

away. Then with all their hearts they 

23 



VISIONS 

acknowledged Him as the Truth, and 
found healing, and, bowing in lowly adora- 
tion before Him, thanked and praised Him. 
And the saints who had been appointed for 
their instruction also rejoiced over them. 

A Labourer and a Doubter 

Once I saw in a vision a labouring man 
arrive in the spirit world. He was in great 
distress, for in all his life he had given no 
thought to anything but earning his daily 
bread. He had been too busy to think of 
God or of spiritual things. At the same 
time that he had died another had also died, 
who was a doubter, obstinate in his opinions. 
Both were ordered to remain for a long period 
far down in the world of spirits in a place of 
darkness. In this, being in distress, they 
began to cry for help. Saints and angels, in 
love and sympathy, went to instruct them 
that they might understand how to become 
members of the Kingdom of Glory and Light. 
But in spite of their distress, like many other 
24 



! 






MAN'S HELP AND TEACHING 

spirits, they preferred to remain on in their 
dark abode, for sin had so warped their 
whole character and nature that they doubted 
everything. They even looked with sus- 
picion on the angels who had come to help 
them. As I watched I wondered what their 
end would be, but, when I asked, the only 
answer I got was from one of the saints, who 
said, " God may have mercy on them." 

We can form an estimate of the depravity 
of man's perverted nature from this, that, if 
an evil report about another goes round, even 
if it is false, a man whose outlook is distorted 
by sin will at once accept it as true. If, on 
the other hand, a good and perfectly true 
report is received, for example that such and 
such a man is a devout man, who has done 
this or that work for the glory of God and 
for the good of his fellows, then, without 
hesitation, such a hearer will say, " It is all 
false. So-and-so must have some motive of 
his own at the back of it all." Should we 
ask such a man how he knows that the former 
case is true and the latter false, and what 
25 



VISIONS 

proof he can give, he -will have not the 
slightest proof to put forward. All that we 
can learn from such an attitude of mind is, 
that, as his mind is tainted with evil, he 
believes evil reports because they fit in with 
his evil nature, and he thinks good reports 
are lies because they do not fit in with the 
evil of his heart. By nature a good man's 
attitude is the opposite of this. He is 
naturally inclined to doubt an evil report, and 
to believe a good report, because this attitude 
best fits in with the goodness of his nature. 

Those who in this world pass their lives in 
opposition to the will of God will have rest of 
heart neither in this world nor in the world to 
come; and, on entering the world of spirits, 
they will feel bewildered and distressed. 
But those who in this world are conformed 
to the will of the Lord will be at peace on 
reaching the next, and will be filled with 
unspeakable joy, because here is their eternal 
home, and the kingdom of their Father, 



26 



' 



CHAPTER V 

THE JUDGMENT OF SINNERS 

Many have the idea that if they sin in secret 
then none will ever know about it, but it is 
altogether impossible that any sin should 
remain hidden for ever. At some time or 
other it will certainly be known, and the 
sinner will receive the punishment he deserves. 
Also, goodness and truth can never be hidden. 
In the end they must triumph, though, for a 
time, they may not be recognised. The 
following incidents will throw light on the 
state of the sinner. 

A Good Man and a Thief 

Once in a vision, one of the saints recounted 
this story to me : " Late one night a godly 
27 



VISIONS 

man had to go to a distance to do some 
necessary work. As he went along he came 
upon a thief breaking into a shop. He said 
to him, ' You have no right to take other 
people's property and to cause them loss. 
It is a great sin to do so,' The thief 
answered, ' If you want to get out of this 
safely, then get out quietly. If you don't 
there will be trouble for you.' The good 
man persisted in his efforts, and, when the 
thief would not listen, he began to shout and 
raised the neighbours. They rushed out to 
seize the thief, but, as soon as the good man 
began to accuse him, the thief retaliated and 
accused the good man. ' Oh yes,' he said, 
' you think this fellow is very religious, but 
I caught him in the very act of stealing.' 
As there were no witnesses both were 
arrested, and locked up together in a room, 
while a police officer and some of his men 
hid themselves to listen to their conversation. 
Then the thief began to laugh at his 
fellow prisoner. 'Look,' he said, 'haven't I 
caught you nicely? I told you at first to get 
28 



THE JUDGMENT OF SINNERS 

out or it would be the worse for you. Now 
we'll see how your religion is going to save 
you.' As soon as the officer heard this he 
opened the door and released the good man 
with honour and a reward, while he gave the 
thief a severe beating, and locked him in a 
prison cell. So, even in this world, there is a 
degree of judgment between good and bad 
men, but the full punishment and reward will 
be given only in the world to come." 



Secret Sins 

The following was also related to me in 
a vision. A man in the secret of his own 
room was committing a sinful act, and he 
thought that his sin was hidden. One of 
the saints said, " How I wish that the 
spiritual eyes of this man had been open at 
the time, then he would never have dared to 
commit this sin ! " For in that room were a 
number of angels and saints, as well as some 
spirits of his dear ones, who had come to help 
him. All of them were grieved to see his 
29 



VISIONS 

shameful conduct, and one of them said, 
" We came to help him, but now we will 
have to be witnesses against him at the time 
of his judgment. He cannot see us, but we 
all can see him indulging in this sin. Would 
that this man would repent, and be saved 
from the punishment to come! " 

Wasted Opportunities 

Once I saw in the world of spirits a spirit 
who, with cries of remorse, was rushing about 
like a madman. An angel said, " In the 
world this man had many chances of repent- 
ing and turning towards God, but whenever 
his conscience began to trouble him he used 
to drown its prickings in drink. He wasted 
all his property, and ruined his family, and in 
the end committed suicide, and now in the 
world of spirits he rushes frantically about 
like a mad dog, and writhes in remorse at the 
thought of his lost opportunities. We are 
ready to help him, but his own perverted 
nature prevents him from repenting, for sin 
30 



THE JUDGMENT OF SINNERS 

has hardened his heart, though the memory of 
his sin is always fresh to him. In the world 
he drank to make himself forget the voice of 
his conscience, but here there is no possible 
chance of covering up anything. Now his 
soul is so naked that he himself, and all the 
inhabitants of the spiritual world, can see his 
sinful life. For him, in his sin-hardened 
state, no other course is possible but that he 
must hide himself in the darkness with other 
evil spirits, and so to some extent escape the 
torture of the light." 



A Wicked Man permitted to enter 
Heaven 

Once in my presence a man of evil life 
entered at death into the world of spirits. 
When the angels and saints wished to help 
him he at once began to curse and revile them, 
and say, " God is altogether unjust. He has 
prepared heaven for such flattering slaves as 
you are, and casts the rest of mankind into 
hell. Yet you call Him Lovel" The 
3i 



VISIONS 

angels replied, " God certainly is Love. He 
created men that they might live for ever in 
happy fellowship with Him, but men by 
their own obstinacy and by the abuse of their 
free will have turned their faces away from 
Him, and have made hell for themselves. 
God neither casts any one into hell, nor will 
He ever do so, but man himself, by being 
entangled in sin, creates hell for himself. 
God never created any hell." 

Just then the exceedingly sweet voice of 
one of the high angels was heard from above, 
saying, " God gives permission that this man 
may be brought into heaven." Eagerly the 
man stepped forward accompanied by two 
angels, but, when they reached the door of 
heaven and saw the holy and light-enveloped 
place and the glorious and blessed inhabit- 
ants that dwell there, he began to feel 
uneasy. The angels said to him, " See how 
beautiful a world is this I Go a little farther, 
and look at the dear Lord sitting on His 
throne." From the door he looked, and 
then as the light of the Sun of Righteousness 
3^ 



I 



THE JUDGMENT OF SINNERS 

revealed to him the impurity of his sin- 
defiled life, he started back in an agony of 
self-loathing, and fled, with such precipi- 
tancy, that he did not even stop in the inter- 
mediate state of the world of spirits, but 
like a stone he passed through it, and cast 
himself headlong into the bottomless pit. 

Then the sweet and ravishing voice of the 
Lord was heard saying, " Look, My dear 
children, none is forbidden to come here, 
and no one forbade this man, nor has any one 
asked him to leave. It was his own impure 
life that forced him to flee from this holy 
place, for, ' Except a man be born again he 
cannot see the kingdom of God ' " 
(John iii, 3). 

The Spirit of a Murderer 

A man, who some years before had killed 
a Christian preacher, was bitten by a snake 
in the jungle, and died. When he entered 
the world of spirits he saw good and bad 
spirits all around him, and, because the 
33 d 



VISIONS 

whole aspect of his soul showed that he was 
a son of darkness, the evil spirits soon had 
possession of him, and pushed him along 
with them down towards the darkness. One 
of the saints remarked, " He killed a man 
of God by the poison of his anger, and now 
he is killed by the poison of a snake. The 
old Serpent the devil, by means of this man, 
killed an innocent man. Now by means of 
another snake, which is like him, he has 
killed this man, for ' he was a murderer from 
the beginning ' " (John viii. 44). 



and the Spirit of the 
Man Murdered 



As he was being taken away, one from 
among the good spirits, who had come to 
help him, said to him, " I have forgiven 
you with all my heart. Now can I do 
anything to help you? " The murderer at 
once recognised him as the same man whom 
he had killed some years before. Ashamed 
and smitten with fear he fell down before 
34 



THE JUDGMENT OF SINNERS 

him, and at once the evil spirits began to 
clamour loudly, but the angels who were 
standing at a distance rebuked and silenced 
them. Then the murderer said to the man 
whom he had killed, " How I wish that, in 
the world, I could have seen your unselfish 
and loving life as I see it now! I regret 
that through my blindness, and because your 
real spiritual life was screened by your body, 
I could not then see the inner beauty of your 
life. Also by killing you I deprived many 
of the blessing and benefit that you would 
have given them. Now I am forever a 
sinner in God's sight, and fully deserve my 
punishment. I don't know what I can now 
do except hide myself in some dark cave, 
because I cannot bear this light. In it, not 
only does my own heart make me miserable, 
but all can see every detail of my sinful 
life." 

To this the man who had been murdered 

replied, " You should truly repent, and turn 

to God, for if you do there is hope that the 

Lamb of God will wash you in His own blood, 

35 



VISIONS 

and give you new life that you may live with 
us in heaven, and be saved from the torment 
of hell." 

The murderer said in reply, " There is 
no need for me to confess my sins, for they 
are open to all. In the world I could hide 
them, but not here. I want to live with 
saints like you in heaven, but when I cannot 
bear the dimness of the self-revealing light 
in the world of spirits, then what will be my 
state in the searching brightness and glory 
of that light-filled place. My greatest hin- 
drance is that, through my sins, my conscience 
is so dull and hardened that my nature will 
not incline towards God and repentance. 
I seem to have no power to repent left in me. 
Now there is nothing for it, but that I shall 
be driven out from here for ever. Alas 
for my unhappy state! " As he said this, 
fear-stricken, he fell down, and his fellow 
evil spirits dragged him away into the 
darkness. Then one of the angels said, 
" See! there is no need here for any to 
pronounce a sentence of doom. Of itself 
36 



THE JUDGMENT OF SINNERS 

the life of any sinner proves him guilty. 
There is no need to tell him, or to put 
forward witnesses against him. To a certain 
extent punishment begins in the heart of 
every sinner while in the world, but here 
they feel the full effect of it. And God's 
arrangement here is such that goats and 
sheep, that is, sinners and righteous, separate 
of their own accord. God created man to 
live in light, in which his spiritual heatth 
and joy are made permanent for ever. There- 
fore no man can be happy in the darkness 
of hell, nor, because of his sin-perverted life, 
can he be happy in the light. So wherever 
a sinner may go he will find himself in hell. 
How opposite to this is the state of the 
righteous, who, freed from sin, is in heaven 
everywhere! " 

The Spirit of a Liar 

In the world there was a man so addicted 
to lying that it had become second nature to 
him. When he died and entered the world 
37 



VISIONS 

of spirits, he tried to lie as usual, but was 
greatly ashamed because, even before he 
could speak, his thoughts were known to all. 
No one can be a hypocrite there, because 
the thought of no heart can remain hidden. 
The soul as it leaves the body bears on it 
the imprint of all its sin, and when it stands 
in all its nakedness in the light of heaven, 
then all can see its sin, and its very members 
become witnesses against it. Nothing can 
blot out that stain of sin except the blood 
of Christ. 

When this man was in the world he 
regularly tried to distort right into wrong, 
and wrong into right, but, after his bodily 
death, he learned that there never is, and 
never can be, a possibility of twisting truth 
into untruth. He who lies injures and 
deceives no one but himself, so this man by 
lying had killed the inner perception to 
truth which he had once possessed. I 
watched him as, inextricably tangled in his 
own deceit, he turned his face away from 
the light from above, and hurried away far 
38 



THE JUDGMENT OF SINNERS 

down into the darkness, where none could 
see his filthy love of lying, except those 
spirits who were like in nature to himself. 
For Truth always is Truth, and it alone 
gave this man the sentence on his falseness, 
and condemned him as a liar. 



The Spirit of an Adulterer 

I saw an adulterer, who had shortly before 
arrived in the world of spirits. His tongue 
was hanging out like a man consumed by 
thirst, his nostrils were distended, and he 
beat his arms about as if a kind of fire 
burned within him. His appearance was so 
evil and loathsome that I revolted at looking 
at him. All the accompaniments of luxury 
and sensuousness had been left behind in 
the world, and now, like a mad dog, he ran 
frantically around, and cried, " Curse on 
this life! There is no death here to put an 
end to all this pain. And here the spirit 
cannot die, otherwise, I should again kill 
myself, as I did with a pistol in the world in 
39 






VISIONS 

order to escape from my troubles there. 
But this pain is far greater than the pain of 
the world. What shall I do? " Saying 
this he ran towards the darkness, where 
were many other like-minded spirits, and 
there disappeared. 

One of the saints said, " Not only is an 
evil act sin, but an evil thought, and an evil 
look is also sin. This sin is not confined 
only to trafficking with strange women, but 
excess and animalism in -relation to one's 
wife is also sin, A man and his wife are 
truly joined together not for sensualism but 
for mutual help and support, that they with 
their children may spend their lives in the 
service of mankind and for the glory of God, 
But he who departs from this aim in life is 
guilty of the adulterer's sin." 

The Soul or a Robber 

A robber died and entered the world of 
spirits. At first he took no interest in his 
state or in the spirits about him, but, as his 
40 



VISIONS 

has wasted his own spiritual wealth, and de- 
stroyed his own spiritual discernment and life. 
He killed and destroyed others, but in reality 
he has destroyed himself. God alone knows 
if this man, and those who are like him, will 
remain in torment for ages or for ever," 

After this the angels appointed to the 
duty took him, and shut him down in the 
darkness from which he is not permitted to 
come out. The state of evildoers in that 
place is so terrible, and so inexpressibly 
fierce is their torment, that those who see 
them tremble at the sight. 

Because of the limitations of our worldly 
speech we can only say this, that wherever the 
soul of a sinner is, always and in every way, 
there is nothing but pain that ceases not for 
a moment, A kind of lightless fire burns for 
ever and torments these souls, but neither 
are they altogether consumed, nor does the 
fire die out. A spirit who was watching 
what had just happened said, " Who knows 
but that in the end this may not be a cleansing 
flame ? " 

42 



V 



THE JUDGMENT OF SINNERS 

habit was, he at once set about helping 
himself to the valuables of the place. But 
he was amazed that in the spirit world the 
very things seemed to be speaking and 
accusing him of his unworthy action. His 
nature was so perverted that he neither knew 
the true use of these things, nor was he fit 
to use them rightly. In the world his 
passions had been so unbridled, that, for 
the most trifling cause, he, in his anger, had 
killed or wounded any who had offended 
him. Now, in the world of spirits, he 
began to act in the same way. He turned 
on the spirits who came to instruct him, as 
if he would have torn them to pieces, as a 
savage dog will do even in the presence of 
its master. On this one of the angels said, 
" If spirits of this kind were not kept down 
in the darkness of the bottomless pit, then 
they would cause immense harm wherever 
they might go. This man's conscience is 
so dead that, even after he has reached the 
world of spirits, he fails to recognise that, 
by murdering and robbing in the world, he 
4i 



THE JUDGMENT OF SINNERS 

In the dark part of the world of spirits, 
which is called Hell, there are many grades 
and planes, and the particular one in which 
any spirit lives in suffering is dependent on 
the quantity and character of his sins. It is 
a fact that God made them all in His own, 
that is in His Son's image, Who is the 
image of the Unseen God (Gen. i. 26, 27; 
Col, i. 15), yet by their connection with sin 
they have disfigured this image, and have 
made it unbeautiful and evil. They have, 
indeed, a kind of spiritual body, but it is 
exceedingly loathsome and frightful, and if 
they are not restored by true repentance and 
the grace of God, then in this fearful form 
they must remain in torment for ever. 



43 



• 



THE STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS 

lative joy, as the following incidents will 
make clear. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND 
THEIR GLORIOUS END 

Heaven, or the Kingdom of God, begins in 
the lives of all true believers in this world. 
Their hearts are always filled with peace and 
joy, no matter what persecutions and troubles 
they may have to endure; for God, Who is the 
source of all peace and life, dwells in them. 
Death is no death for them, but a door by 
which they enter for ever into their eternal 
home. Or we may say that though they 
have already been born again into their 
eternal kingdom, yet when they leave the 
body, it is for them, not the day of their 
death, but their day of birth into the spiritual 
world, and it is for them a time of super- 
44 



The Death of a Righteous Man 

An angel related to me how a true 
Christian, who had wholeheartedly served 
his Master for thirty years, lay dying. A 
few minutes before he died God opened his 
spiritual eyes that, even before leaving the 
body, he might see the spiritual world, and 
might tell what he saw to those about him. 
He saw that heaven had been opened for 
him, and a party of angels and saints was 
coming out to meet him, and at the door the 
Saviour with outstretched hand was waiting 
to receive him. As all this broke upon him 
he gave such a shout of joy that those at his 
bedside were startled. " What a joyful hour 
it is for me 1 " he exclaimed. " I have long been 
waiting that I might see my Lord and go to 
Him. Oh friends ! look at His face all 
lighted by love, and see that company of 
angels that has come for me. What a 

45 



VISIONS 

glorious place it Is ! Friends, I am setting 
out for my real home, do not grieve over my 
departure, but rejoice! " 

One of those present at his bedside said 
quietly, " His mind is wandering." He 
heard the low voice and said, " No, it is not. 
I am quite conscious. I wish you could see 
this wonderful sight. I am sorry it is hidden 
from your eyes. Good-bye, we will meet 
again in the next world." Saying this he 
closed his eyes, and said, " Lord, I commend 
my soul into Thy hands," and so fell asleep. 

Comforting His Dear Ones 

As soon as his soul had left his body the 
angels took him in their arms, and were about 
to go off to heaven, but he asked them to 
delay a few minutes. He looked at his life- 
less body, and at his friends, and said to the 
angels, " I did not know that the spirit after 
leaving the body could see his own body and 
his friends. I wish my friends could see me, 
as well as I can see them, then they would 
46 

VISIONS 

him, also met him, and on seeing them his 
joy was further increased. On reaching the 
gate of heaven the angels and saints stood in 
silence on either side. He entered, and in 
the doorway was met by Christ. At once 
he fell at His feet to worship Him, but the 
Lord lifted him up, and embraced him, and 
said, " Well done, good and faithful servant, 
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." At 
that the man's joy was indescribable. From 
his eyes tears of joy began to flow, and 
the Lord in great love wiped them away, 
and to the angels He said, " Take him 
away to that most glorious mansion that, 
from the beginning, has been prepared for 
him." 

Now the spirit of this man of God still held 
the earthly idea that to turn his back on the 
Lord as he went off with the angels would 
be a dishonour to Him. He hesitated to do 
this, but, when at last he turned his face 
towards his mansion, he was astonished to see 
that wherever he looked he could see the 
Lord. For Christ is present in every place, 
48 



I 



THE STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS 

never count me as dead, nor mourn for me 
as they do." Then he examined his spiritual 
body and found it beautifully light and 
delicate, and totally different from his gross 
material body. On that he began to restrain 
his wife and children, who were weeping and 
kissing his cold body. He stretched out his 
delicate spiritual hands, and began to explain 
to them, and with great love to press them 
away from it, but they could neither see him, 
nor hear his voice, and, as he tried to remove 
his children from off his body, it seemed as if 
his hands passed right through their bodies, 
as if they were air, but they felt nothing at all. 
Then one of the angels said, " Come, let us 
take you to your everlasting home. Do not 
be sorry for them. The Lord Himself, and 
we also, will comfort them. This separation 
is but for a few days." 

Then in company with the angels he set 
out for heaven. They had gone forward 
only a little way when another band of angels 
met them with cries of " Welcome ". Many 
friends and dear ones, who had died before 
47 



THE STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS 

and is seen everywhere by saints and angels. 
In addition to the Lord, he was delighted to 
see that on every side there were surround- 
ings that filled him with joy, and that those 
who are lowest in rank meet without envy 
those who are higher, and that those whose 
position is more exalted count themselves 
fortunate to be able to serve their brethren 
in lower positions because this is the kingdom 
of God and of love. 

In every part of heaven there are superb 
gardens, which all the time produce every 
variety of sweet and luscious fruit, and all 
kinds of sweet-scented flowers that never 
fade. In them creatures of every kind give 
praise to God unceasingly. Birds, beautiful 
in hue, raise their sweet songs of praise, and 
such is the sweet singing of angels and saints 
that on hearing their songs a wonderful sense 
of rapture is experienced. Wherever one 
may look there is nothing but scenes of un- 
bounded joy. This, in truth, is the Paradise 
that God has prepared for those that love 
Him, where there is no shade of death, nor 
49 e 



VISIONS 

error, nor sin, nor suffering, but abiding 
peace and joy. 

The Mansions of Heaven 

Then I saw this man of God examining his 
appointed mansion from a great distance, for 
in heaven all things are spiritual, and the 
spiritual eye can see through all intervening 
things, and on to immeasurable distances. 
Through all the immensity of heaven God's 
love is manifest, and everywhere in it all 
kinds of His creatures can be seen praising 
and thanking Him in an unending state of 
joy. When this man of God, in company 
with the angels, arrived at the door of his 
appointed mansion, he saw written on it in 
shining letters the word " Welcome ", and 
from the letters themselves " Welcome, 
Welcome " in audible sound was repeated 
and repeated again. When he had entered 
his home, to his surprise he found the Lord 
there before him. At this his joy was more 
than we can describe, and he exclaimed, " I 

5° 



VISIONS 

there with many other good spirits, who had 
lately arrived, in charge of those angels who 
are appointed to instruct good souls, while 
they themselves went back to usher in another 
good spirit. 

In that intermediate heaven there are 
grades above grades right up to the higher 
heavens, and the grade into which any soul 
is admitted for instruction is determined by 
the real goodness of his life on earth. When 
the angels, who had put this minister in his 
grade, came back conducting in the other 
soul, for whom they had gone, they brought 
him up beyond the grade in which the 
minister was, on their way up to a higher 
plane. Seeing this the minister in a bluster- 
ing voice called out, " What right have you 
to leave me half-way up to that glorious 
country, while you take this other man away 
up near to it? Neither in holiness, nor in 
anything else, am I in any way less than this 
man, or than you yourselves." The angels 
replied, " There is no question here of great 
or small, or of more or less, but a man is put 
5* 









THE STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS 

left the Lord's presence and came here at His 
command, but I find that the Lord Himself is 
here to dwell with me." In the mansion 
was everything that his imagination could 
have conceived, and every one was ready to 
serve him. In the near-by houses saints, 
like-minded to himself, lived in happy 
fellowship. For this heavenly house is the 
kingdom which has been prepared for the 
saints from the foundation of the world 
(Matt. xxv. 34), and this is the glorious 
future that awaits every true follower of 
Christ. 



A proud Minister and a humble 
Workman 

A minister who looked on himself as an 
exceedingly learned and religious man died 
at a ripe old age. And without doubt he 
was a good man. When the angels came to 
take him to the place appointed for him by 
the Lord in the world of spirits, they brought 
him into the intermediate state, and left him 

5 1 



THE STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS 

into whatever grade he has merited by his life 
and faith. You are not quite ready yet for 
that upper grade, so you will have to remain 
here for a while and learn some of the things 
that our fellow -workers are appointed to 
teach. Then, when the Lord commands us, 
we will, with great pleasure, take you with us 
to that higher sphere." He said, " I have 
been teaching people all my life about the 
way to reach heaven. What more have I 
to learn ? I know all about it." Then 
the instructing angels said, " They must go 
up now, we can't detain them, but we will 
answer your question. My friend, do not 
be offended if we speak plainly, for it is for 
your good. You think you are alone here, 
but the Lord is also here though you cannot 
see Him. The pride that you displayed 
when you said ' I know all about it ' prevents 
you from seeing Him and from going up 
higher. Humility is the cure for this pride. 
Practise it and your desire will be granted." 
After this one of the angels told him, " The 
man who has just been promoted above you 
53 



VISIONS 



THE STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS 



was no learned or famous man. You did not 
look at him very carefully. He was a 
member of your own congregation. People 
hardly knew him at all, for he was an ordinary 
working man, and had little leisure from his 
work. But in his workshop many knew him 
as an industrious and honest worker. His 
Christian character was recognised by all who 
came in contact with him. In the war he was 
called up for service in France. There, one 
day, as he was helping a wounded comrade, 
he was struck by a bullet and killed. Though 
his death was sudden he was ready for it, so 
he did not have to remain in the intermediate 
state as long as you will have to do. His 
promotion depends, not on favouritism, but 
on his spiritual worthiness. His life of 
prayer and humility, while he was in the 
world, prepared him to a great extent for the 
spiritual world. Now he is rejoicing at 
having reached his appointed place, and is 
thanking and praising the Lord, Who, in His 
mercy, has saved him, and given him eternal 
life." 

54 






Heavenly Life 

In heaven no one can ever be a hypocrite, 
for all can see the lives of others as they are. 
The all-revealing light which flows out from 
the Christ in Glory makes the wicked in their 
remorse try to hide themselves, but it fills the 
righteous with the utmost joy to be in the 
Father's kingdom of Light, There, their 
goodness is evident to all, and it ever increases 
more and more, for nothing is present that 
can hinder their growth, and everything that 
can sustain them is there to help them. The 
degree of goodness reached by the soul of a 
righteous man is known by the brightness 
that radiates from his whole appearance; for 
character and nature show themselves in the 
form of various glowing rainbow-like colours 
of great glory. In heaven there is no 
jealousy. All are glad to see the spiritual 
elevation and glory of others, and, without 
any motive of self-seeking, try, at all times, 
truly to serve one another. All the innumer- 
able gifts and blessings of heaven are for the 
SS 



VISIONS 

common use of all. No one out of selfishness 
ever thinks of keeping anything for himself, 
and there is enough of everything for all. 

God, Who is love, is seen in the Person of 
Jesus sitting on the throne in the highest 
heaven. From Him, Who is the " Sun of 
Righteousness " and the " Light of the 
world ", healing and life-giving rays and 
waves of light and love are seen flowing out 
to the uttermost extent of His universe, and 
flowing through every saint and angel, and 
bringing to whatever they touch vitalising 
and vivifying power. 

There is in heaven neither east nor west, 
nor north nor south, but, for each individual 
soul or angel, Christ's throne appears as the 
centre of all things. 

There also are found every kind of sweet 
and delicious flower and fruit, and many 
kinds of spiritual food. While eating them 
an exquisite flavour and pleasure are experi- 
enced, but after they have been assimilated 
a delicate scent, which perfumes the air 
around, exudes from the pores of the body. 
56 



THE STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS 

In short, the will and desires of all the 
inhabitants of heaven are fulfilled in God, 
because in every life God's will is made 
perfect, so under all conditions, and at every 
stage of heaven, there is for every one an 
unchanging experience of wonderful joy. 
So the end of the righteous is eternal joy and 
blessedness. 



57 



t 



CHAPTER VII 

THE AIM AND PURPOSE OF CREATION 

A few months ago I was lying alone in my 
room suffering acutely from an ulcer in my 
eye. The pain was so great that I could do 
no other work, so I spent the time in prayer 
and intercession. One day I had been thus 
engaged for only a few minutes, when the 
spiritual world was opened to me, and I 
found myself surrounded by numbers of 
angels. Immediately I forgot all my pain, 
for my whole attention was concentrated on 
them. I mention below a few of the subjects 
on which we conversed together. 

Names in Heaven 

I asked them, " Can you tell me by what 
names you are known? " One of the angels 

58 



VISIONS 

see Him, in what form and state does He 
appear? " 

One of the saints said, " As the sea is full 
of water, so is the whole universe filled with 
God, and every inhabitant of heaven feels 
His presence about him on every side. 
When one dives under water above and below 
and round about there is nothing but water, 
so in heaven is the presence of God felt. 
And just as in the water of the sea there are 
uncounted living creatures, so in the Infinite 
Being of God His creatures exist. Because 
He is Infinite, His children, who are finite, 
can see Him only in the form of Christ. As 
the Lord Himself has said, " He that hath 
seen Me hath seen the Father " (John xiv. 9). 
In this world of spirits the spiritual progress 
of any one governs the degree to which he is 
able to know and feel God; and the Christ 
also reveals His glorious form to each one 
according to his spiritual enlightment and 
capacity. If Christ were to appear in the 
same glorious light to the dwellers of the 
darkened lower spheres of the spiritual world 
60 



AIM AND PURPOSE OF CREATION 

replied, " Each of us has been given a new 
name, which none knows except the Lord, 
and the one who has received it (Rev. ii. 17). 
All of us here have served the Lord in 
different lands and in different ages, and 
there is no need that any should know what 
our names are. Nor is there any necessity 
that we should tell our former earthly names. 
It might be interesting to know them, but 
what would be the use of it? And then we do 
not want people to know our names, lest they 
should imagine us great and give honour to 
us, instead of to the Lord, Who has so loved 
us that He has lifted us up out of our fallen 
state, and has brought us into our eternal 
home, where we will forever sing praises in 
His loving fellowship — and this is the object 
for which He created us." 



Seeing God 

I asked again, " Do the angels and saints 
who live in the highest spheres of heaven 
always look on the face of God? And, if they 
59 



AIM AND PURPOSE OF CREATION 

as He appears to those in the higher planes, 
then they would not be able to bear it. So 
He tempers the glory of His manifestation 
to the state of progress, and to the capacity 
of each individual soul." 

Then another saint added, "God's presence 
can indeed be felt and enjoyed, but it cannot 
be expressed in words. As the sweetness of 
the sweet is enjoyed by tasting, and not by 
the most graphic descriptive phrasing, so 
every one in heaven experiences the joy of 
God's presence, and every one in the spiritual 
world knows that his experience of God is 
real, and has no need that any should attempt 
to help him with a verbal description of it." 

Distance in Heaven 

I asked, " How far from one another are 
the various heavenly spheres of existence? 
If one cannot go to stay in other spheres is 
he permitted to visit them? " 

Then one of the saints said, " The place of 
residence is appointed for each soul in that 
61 



VISIONS 

plane to which his spiritual development has 
fitted him, but for short periods he can go to 
visit other spheres. When those of the 
higher spheres come down to the lower, a 
kind of spiritual covering is given to them, 
that the glory of their appearance may not be 
disconcerting to the inhabitants of the lower 
and darker spheres. So when one from a 
lower sphere goes to a higher, he also gets a 
kind of spiritual covering that he may be able 
to bear the light and glory of that place." 

In heaven distance is never felt by any one, 
for as soon as one forms the wish to go to a 
certain place he at once finds himself there. 
Distances are felt only in the material world. 
If one wishes to see a saint in another sphere, 
either he himself is transported there in a 
moment of thought, or at once the distant 
saint arrives in his presence. 

The Withered Fig Tree 

I inquired of them, " Everything is 
created for some purpose, but it sometimes 
62 



AIM AND PURPOSE OF CREATION 

appears that that purpose is not fulfilled; 
for instance, the purpose of the fig tree was 
to produce fruit, but, when the Lord found 
it fruitless, He withered it up. Can you 
enlighten me as to whether its purpose was 
fulfilled or not? " 

A saint replied, " Undoubtedly its pur- 
pose was fulfilled, and was fulfilled more 
fully. The Lord of Life gives life to every 
creature for a certain specific purpose, but 
if that purpose is not fulfilled He has power 
to take back the life in order to fulfil some 
higher purpose. Many thousands of God's 
servants have sacrificed their lives in order 
to teach and uplift others. By losing their 
lives for others they have helped them, and 
thus fulfilled the higher purpose of God. 
And if it is lawful, and a most noble service, 
for man, who is higher than fig trees and all 
other created things, to give his life for 
other men, then how can it be unjust if a 
mere tree gives its life for the teaching and 
warning of an erring nation? So through 
this fig tree Christ taught this great lesson 
63 



VISIONS 

to the Jews, and to the whole world, that 
those whose lives are fruitless, and who 
fail in the purpose for which God created 
them, will be altogether withered and 
destroyed." 

The facts of history make it abundantly 
plain to us that the bigoted and narrow 
Jewish national life of that day was, because 
of its barrenness, withered away like the 
fig tree. And in the same way the fruitless 
lives of others, though outwardly they may 
appear fruitful, are a cause of deception to 
others, and will be cursed and destroyed. If 
any one should object that when the Lord 
cursed this fig tree, it was not the fruit 
season, and figs should not have been looked 
for, then he should reflect that for doing 
good there is no fixed season, because all 
seasons and times are equally appointed for 
good works, and that he himself should make 
his life fruitful and thus fulfil the purpose for 
which he was created. 



64 









AIM AND PURPOSE OF CREATION 

Is Man a Free Agent? 

Again I asked, " Would it not have been 
far better if God had created man and all 
creation perfect, for then man could neither 
have committed sin, nor because of sin would 
there have been so much sorrow and suffer- 
ing in the world; but now, in a creation 
made subject to vanity, we have all kinds 
of suffering to undergo? " 

An angel who had come from the highest 
grades of heaven, and occupied a high 
position there, replied, " God has not made 
man like a machine, which would work 
automatically; nor has He fixed his destiny 
as in the case of the stars and planets, that 
may not move out of their appointed course, 
but He has made man in His own image and 
likeness, a free agent, possessed of under- 
standing, determination, and power to act 
independently, hence he is superior to all 
other created things. Had man not been 
created a free agent he would not have been 
able to enjoy God's presence, nor the joy of 

65 F 



VISIONS 

heaven, for he would have been a mere 
machine, that moves without knowing or 
feeling, or like the stars that swing unknow- 
ingly through infinite space. But man, 
being a free agent, is by the constitution of 
his nature, opposed to this kind of soulless 
perfection — and a perfection of this kind 
would really have been imperfection — for 
such a man would have been a mere slave 
whose very perfection had compelled him to 
certain acts, in the doing of which he could 
have had no enjoyment, because he had no 
choice of his own. To him there would be 
no difference between a God and a stone." 

Man, and with him all creation, has been 
subjected to vanity, but not for ever. By his 
disobedience man has brought himself and 
all other creatures into all the ills and suffer- 
ings of this state of vanity. In this state of 
spiritual struggle alone can his spiritual 
powers be fully developed, and only in this 
struggle can he learn the lesson necessary to 
his perfection. Therefore, when man at 
last reaches the state of perfectness of heaven, 
66 



VISIONS 

creation will remain groaning and travailing 
till this new creation comes to pass. And 
those also who have been born again 
groan within themselves, waiting for the 
redemption of the body; and the time 
approaches when the whole creation, being 
obedient to God in all things, will be freed 
from corruption, and from this vanity for 
ever. Then will it remain eternally happy 
in God, and will fulfil in itself the purpose 
for which it was created. Then God will be 
all in all " (Rom. viii. 18-23). 

The angels also conversed with me about 
many other matters, but it is impossible to 
record them, because, not only is there in 
the world no language, no simile, by which 
I could express the meaning of those very 
deep spiritual truths, but also they did not 
wish me to attempt it, for no one without 
spiritual experience can understand them, so, 
in that case, there is the fear that, instead 
of their being a help, they would be to many 
a cause of misunderstanding and error. I 
68 






AIM AND PURPOSE OF CREATION 

he will thank God for the sufferings and 
struggle of the present world, for then he 
will fully understand that all things work 
together for good to them that love God 
(Rom. viii. 28). 



The Manifestation of God's Love 

Then another of the saints said, "All the 
inhabitants of heaven know that God is Love, 
but it had been hidden from all eternity that 
His love is so wonderful that He would 
become man to save sinners, and for their 
cleansing would die on the Cross. He 
suffered thus that He might save men, and 
all creation, which is in subjection to vanity. 
Thus God, in becoming man, has shown 
His heart to His children, but had any other 
means been used His infinite love would 
have remained for ever hidden. 

Now the whole creation, with earnest ex- 
pectation, awaits the manifestation of the sons 
of God, when they shall be again restored 
and glorified. But, at present, they and all 
67 



AIM AND PURPOSE OF CREATION 

have, therefore, written only a few of the 
simplest of the matters talked over, in the 
hope that from them many may get direction 
and warning, teaching and comfort. 

Also, that time is not far distant when my 
readers will pass over into the spiritual world, 
and see these things with their own eyes. 
But before we leave this world for ever, to 
go to our eternal home, we must with the 
support of God's grace, and in the spirit 
of prayer, carry out with faithfulness our 
appointed work. Thus shall we fulfil the 
purpose of our lives, and enter, without any 
shade of regret, into the eternal joy of the 
kingdom of our Heavenly Father. 



THE END 



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